Which women’s athletic socks are best?

Many consumers fail to realize that there are many sock types that better benefit certain scenarios. While some socks might be best for formal occasions, these socks might not be good for working out. Women’s athletic socks are all about increasing one’s comfort while assisting in wicking moisture or reducing a tendency toward blisters.

The best women’s athletic socks are the Eallco Women’s Athletic Cushioned Running Ankle Socks. These socks are built around running, have padded heels and moisture wicking for ultimate comfort and are available in three color options.

What to know before you buy a women’s athletic sock

Types of women’s athletic sock

There are two types of women’s athletic socks: standard and compression.

  • Standard: Standard socks can have a range of possible features depending on the brand and which athletic activity it’s marketed toward. They can come in all four leg coverage types.
  • Compression: Compression socks introduce a restricted fit that is known to promote improved blood circulation which in turn results in a faster recovery time. You do pay a higher cost for this type of women’s athletic sock.

Leg coverage

There are five lengths of leg coverage for women’s athletic socks. Some provide a few benefits, but most are simply for looks. 

  • No-show (ankle) socks don’t peek out of the shoe and are cooler for hot-weather activities. 
  • Low-cut and quarter crew socks peek out a little from the shoe to provide a little additional protection from chaffing or rubbing. 
  • Crew, which goes halfway up the calf, and knee-high socks provide the same benefits as low-cut and quarter crew while providing an aesthetic benefit.

What to look for in a quality women’s athletic sock

Moisture wicking

Most women’s athletic socks use materials that provide levels of moisture wicking. This keeps your feet dryer during activity while also limiting the chances of bacterial growth. Synthetic materials like polyester have better moisture-wicking abilities than natural fibers like cotton. The exception to this rule is Merino wool — an expensive, natural material with high comfort, temperature insulation and natural moisture-wicking capabilities.

Cushioning

Some women’s athletic socks use padding to provide additional comfort when engaging in high-impact activities. Socks that are marketed for runners commonly place cushioning in the heel to help absorb the impact.

Heel tabs

Some low-cut and no-show socks use additional material that forms a tab at the back of the ankle. These tabs mostly serve as padding between the Achilles tendon and your shoe but they’re also helpful in preventing a low-cut women’s athletic sock from slipping into the shoe.

How much you can expect to spend on a women’s athletic sock

The typical price range for a set of women’s athletic socks is roughly $10-$25, with more expensive socks using special technologies. Remember that socks often come in multipair packages, which helps to keep costs per pair down.

Women’s athletic sock FAQ

I have an unpleasant foot odor after wearing my women’s athletic socks; how do I get rid of it?

A. If you have a foot odor you don’t want after wearing your women’s athletic socks, there are a few things you can do. The first is to switch to a moisture-wicking sock and if that doesn’t work, an antimicrobial sock. If you’ve tried both of these sock types and you still have a foot odor, then the culprit is likely your shoes instead. Grab an antimicrobial shoe cleaner and give your shoes a few rounds of treatment. If you still have a foot odor after all of these steps, you should consult with a doctor.

Is there a difference between men’s and women’s athletic socks?

A. In terms of function, no. Men’s and women’s athletic socks are identical. The only differences are size and design with men’s athletic socks usually running in larger sizes and in fewer colors and designs which are typically muted compared to women’s brighter and more fun designs.

What’s the best women’s athletic sock to buy?

Top women’s athletic sock 

Eallco Women’s Athletic Cushioned Running Ankle Socks

Eallco Women’s Athletic Cushioned Running Ankle Socks

What you need to know: These women’s athletic socks were made for running, thanks to their cushioned heels. 

What you’ll love: Cushioned heels make every impact lesser and work to prevent blistering and chafing by limiting rubbing against your shoes. The polyester and Spandex material works to wick moisture away from your feet. They are available in black, white and gray.

What you should consider: Some consumers reported a tight and uncomfortable fit around the front of the foot where it meets the ankle.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top women’s athletic sock for the money

PUMA Women’s Runner Socks

PUMA Women’s Runner Socks

What you need to know: These excellent and affordable socks are made by a top-recognized athletic brand.

What you’ll love: Many consumers iterated on the comfort of these socks, even after hours of steady use. Reviewers also noted the high breathability of these socks and their sturdy construction. They have a thickness that perfectly straddles the line between thick and thin.

What you should consider: Some consumers reported that these socks can shrink a little or start to pill after being washed a few times.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Under Armour Women’s Essential No Show Socks

Under Armour Women’s Essential No Show Socks

What you need to know: This is yet another excellent sock from one of the biggest names in athletic wear and equipment.

What you’ll love: These women’s athletic socks are most well known for their arch support as well as their tight fit which conforms to the foot. There are very few instances of these socks shrinking after being washed. They’re durable enough to last for years.

What you should consider: Some consumers had problems with the tight fit, noting that these women’s athletic socks run a little small and have less breathability than similar products.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Kohl’s

Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.

Jordan Woika writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.